The fast-moving changes in today’s world (and the job market) call for a serious evaluation of our educational systems. We must ask ourselves the vital question educators have asked since the beginning of the schooling system: do our educational institutions adequately prepare students to propel society forward and make a positive impact on the world?
There have been many shifts in our world over the last few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including how and where education is taking place. As we’ve seen, there has been a massive shift towards online education, which comes with its own set of benefits and challenges.
In fact, there has been much debate about whether online education offers the same benefits and thorough instruction that in-person classes have for centuries.
However, while there has been much discussion on the topic of how students are learning, there hasn’t been as much discussion about what they are learning, and where their educational materials are being sourced from. This is where data-driven education can provide a solution.
What is data-driven education?
Data-driven education uses data from the students’ learning journey to accurately understand the learning materials they need to succeed. This helps boost retention and graduation rates and can decrease the need for additional tutoring and supplemental education that often comes from deficiencies in the current learning materials and processes.
Although data-driven education requires more effort and careful analysis/understanding of the feedback educators are receiving, this model is the best way to create a better education system for all students since it bases the learning materials on what students actually need rather than what educators assume is needed.
It takes into account the students’ progress, engagement, and integration of learned materials, which in turn creates a much more thorough educational process that benefits all those involved and takes the guessing out of lesson sourcing and planning.
What happens when educational decisions aren’t based on student data
If educational institutions continue to instruct based on opinions and predictions, there is a higher risk of graduates being unprepared and underqualified for the jobs and roles available.
In the long-term, this can lead to higher rates of under skilled and unemployed individuals, which negatively impacts the economy and stifles progress needed to solve pressing world problems and create a better world.
In order to ensure the highest success rates possible, more institutions have to prioritize a data-driven education model.
5 benefits of using data to drive education and its impact on students
1. Teachers co-create learning materials with their students
Students become active participants in the process of developing educational materials and structures through the valuable data teachers collect. Additionally, the students’ real-time progress becomes a top priority in planning lessons, meaning that teachers are able to continuously create educational materials based on the evolving needs of their students.
2. A deeper understanding of progress and results
Whereas teachers usually rely on assignments and test scores to provide them with an understanding of their students’ success rate, data-driven education offers teachers a much more detailed report of their classroom’s retention rate.
As a result, teachers can make immediate improvements based on the data and capitalise on the learning materials and processes that are working best. More importantly, teachers can remove processes, methods, and materials that aren’t working.
3. Learning becomes easier
Instead of continuously going through trial and error based on assumptions and predictions, teachers can create concrete learning materials and processes that have a higher rate of success since they are based on data from their students. Thus, students don’t have to suffer through constant trials to see what sticks. Rather, they can retain information quicker through proven methods.
4. Personalizes the learning experience
Since data takes center stage in a data-driven education model, teachers constantly adapt to the needs of their students. This sort of adaptive teaching allows the learning experience to be much better suited for each individual student, taking into account the needs of both individual students and the classroom as a whole to provide the best experience for all.
5. Close the achievement gap
Data-driven education becomes even more important within institutions that have a discrepancy in budget and resources available to offer students a well-rounded education.
Instead of spending more time and resources to find ways to nourish students outside of the classroom, these institutions can bridge the achievement gap by analysing the discrepancies among their students and putting strategies in place to ensure they are receiving the education they need to achieve the same levels of success as their peers.
Data-driven education has the ability to transform classrooms and lead to dramatic improvements in an educator’s responsiveness to students, save them time, and confirm their instruction is successful. However, there is a difference between being data-rich and being data-driven.
While collecting data is essential, it can also add pressure on educators who are oftentimes already overworked with their current responsibilities. Additionally, data analysis and data-driven decision-making require skills that are usually completely out of the scope of what an educator is trained to do on a day-to-day basis in the classroom.
This is why finding high-quality, affordable software that can automate the data collection and analysis process is crucial for institutions seeking to shift into data-driven decision-making.
A high-quality automation software ensures that the data collected is accurate, easy to understand, and adequately comprehensive.
If you’re ready to leverage data for your educational institution, contact our team today and we’ll walk you through our solutions to organise and automate your data so you can do more, with less.